Foggy; Welcome, Sure you can put plastic, wood, weed preventer cloth or just mulch. or even just mow the grass between the rows of bales. Sounds like you got an extention on life. Go slow and enjoy it all. Good luck ! I'm just starting in straw bale garden, sounds great to me. I will however have some in dirt yet as I put in root crops as well. Im 70 and pretty darn good now, but I did have a set back in 96 with a ruptured disc in my lower back. Two years and I began to improve, so that wasn't too bad. But am very gratefull for all I can do.
foggy: Welcome aboard, sir. Good to have you with us.
Like Russ said, you can put anything down you like that you think will cut down on the edging. If you use newspaper, make sure the ink in the paper is soy-based. It's my understanding the other type inks are not good for use in a garden. Ask the newspaper company.
However, if you don't cover the whole area between the bales, you're still going to have to cut the grass with your lawnmower anyway, so consider how that will work with the material you use.
I used newspaper as an edging for my running cucumbers last year. I'll probably use some sort of weed cloth this year.
Welcome Foggy, I am the oldest probably of all of you doing the Straw bale gardening , I will be 81 this year and am trying the bale gardening for the first time this year. It didn't feel like spring here today. Was 30 degrees most of the night and had to cover some plants i had just planted in pots, also brought the flat of tomatoes inside for the night. Only got to 51 degrees today with a strong south wind. So too early for me to plant anything in the bales.
I think we got a lot of clowns in the house. 67. Whoops, 68. LOL
Foggy, I am putting the weed blocking fabric under my whole area this year. I did have some weeds come up in between. I used newspaper under mulch in my perennial bed and that has worked out well. I used the fabric under my portable greenhouse the last 3 years and it did great also.
oops!!...sorry I wasn't clear, I'm a Ma'am, not a sir...my name is Sally, but I named our farm Foggywalk & foggy seemed appropriate for my personality so i adopted it.
another question,...a friend gave me several crates of compost starter from an auction...would that be a good thing to add with the ammonium nitrate?...It's only biological, but it might add heat & hasten the process of readying the bales, anyone know? would it hurt to try?
We put the weed blocker down yesterday afternoon after I heard from you guys & today I am taking an edger & poking the edge of the blocker into the sod about 3 inches to make a nice straight edge & so i can run my mower over it...this looks really neat ...I'll get pictures when i can. We tried an upside down garden last year & put 5 gallon buckets suspended between posts, it didn't work well because it was hard to water & things dried out...but the bales are going between the posts and we are attaching cattle fencing to the back as a trellis
Donna, i am just thrilled with you gardening at 81, you're my hero(ine) i want to be like you!
We had another good thunder storm last night. I think God is trying to make sure my bales get enough water. LOL I can use all the help I can get. Right????
Guess I better go put some more blood meal and fertilizer down, although I think I'll wait till it warms-up a bit as its still only 35 outside. Believe we will go down to the local coffee shop and think about it. he he he
Well Foggy I must admit I mistook your name also. But the welcome still holds!
As well as the good wishes.
Wow I can't take it easy now, The Mail carrier just knocked on the door, brought us two fruit trees. Guess I will have mud them in and put in a couple posts to support them. Still think we'll go have coffee first LOL
Russ: 10-4 on that java, especially w/those temps. I think better over a hot cup of Joe, too! I'm fixing to start my afternoon/evening shift after being off on my 4-day break, and I always run by the deli in my area to get a big ol glass of tea to sip on until my supper break. It's been in the 80's here last few days, but back down freezing at night around Easter weekend.
Like those 4 day breaks. Well Used too any way. What is your normal shift , 10 or 12hr. I know it can be 24, Hopefully it is a little quieter than that.
The cup of joe let me rethink the mudding in. I'll just put them in a bucket of water for a few days. Will be cold all week, or most of 2 weeks yet. I know there will be some brave soles out on friday planting potatoes. Since I just broke off some sprouts and stuck them in a flat and they are already growing, I think I will wait with those. Up here it's good friday when they want the regular taders in.
Well it didn't freeze last night, first frost free night for more than a week. Still no sign of any moisture from above, more than two months now.
Ruth Olive was my mother, should have taken more time to figure out a better name, didn't realize 5 or 6 six years ago when I started with DG how important the name really is.. Thanks foggywalk.
Yesterday I took my thermometer out to the bales, struck it in one of the loosely baled straw ones, didn't move. So then put it in my one tight bale and went up to 65 degrees immediately. I should have spent a few more dollars and bought the larger tighter ones. Even tho no frost last night, much too cold to plant anything in them
I am soaking my Morning Glory , Ricinus, and Hyacinth beans now.
Donna, what do you think about maybe putting some plastic over your bales. If you have them wet and the sun comes out they would start to steam, seems to me. I know you would have to water them, but you wouldn't have to put the plastic on them tight. If you did that until the weather warms up it seems to me your bales would be on the way to composting.
I guess by using the hoophouse with the visquine on it I am doing the same thing. I just don't have my bales yet even. So, don't dispair.
I've been following this link pretty much since the beginning, but here's a question I don't remember seeing addressed (or I missed it, which is also entirely possible): Has anyone tried using round bales? Unrolling them and planting in them? I'm thinking the hay/straw would be too loose once it was unrolled, but I'm having a heck of a time finding square bales of anything here this year.
BTW I'm celebrating the 10th anniversary of my 29th birthday this year. I take after my mom in this respect, who was 29 until I was in high school. :)
Glad to see you. "hear"? LOL. No, I have never tried the round bales. They are so big I cannot imagine even trying to do anything with them. Plus, they are hay, not straw, but if that is all you can get????? I don't know what to tell you. Maybe someone else can.
I would think that even if they only have round bales of hay that there must still be someone that cuts the straw after the hay is harvested?? I don't know. It has been a long time since I have been around a farm. Guess we need to hear from a farmer.
Sigh. It seems my (hay) bales are finally ready to plant, and I can't do it!! It's gonna be way too cold to put anything out until at least Tuesday. Arrrrrghhhh!!
Also, my bales are supposedly all from the same cutting, but they seem to be "curing" differently. Out of 21 bales, only 2 have mushrooms, but they each have a substantial crop, tho I think they'll disintegrate with the cold. None of the bales have grown any "grass", but I have seen a few black _crickety_ critters jump off when I water. Think they're a problem? Some of the bales seem to be more decomposed than the others, so I guess I'll just have to see what happens .
Margo (trying to figure out what plants to cover, and what I have to sacrifice...)
I have heard of someone unroling a big round bale, and planting potatoes in it but useing some potting soil, sand and saw dust to cover the hay, to make sure that the potatoes were all in the dark. So there wouldn't be any green ones.
But when you are looking to use a round bale, you are handleing 1500lbs. or better per bale.
Around here they are also puting up corn stalks in round bales. To be honest if round bales was all I could get, I would have to compost them first. Don't think I could handle them. Lets see what Kent would say!!!
Pam: don't know of anyone in my area trying to unroll a round bale; we did talk about planting in a round bale last year; kind of brainstorming about putting in something like cukes and let them run across the top and over the sides. More of a novelty idea than anything else. No one attempted it.
catmad: yep, some cold nights ahead for the next few days; maybe that'll be the last frost; ever since the early daylight savings time change and the warm weather, folks around my area have gone crazy planting flowers, etc, forgetting that we always seem to get a frost in early to mid-April.
My bales did the same as yours; not every bale cured out at the same rate and some had mushrooms and others didn't; seems to be the norm; no problemo with the crickets; I get them, too, along with an occasional spider that scampers out when I water the bales.
Russ: I've never seen corn stalks rolled up, but I can see where that would be more common in Iowa.
Some of the corn stalk bales are ground up and mixed in with other feed. about the same principal as corn silage. Also with the advant of Ethanol, not just the corn is cooked. And that ain't all bad as that has been the home to a large population of the corn borer. not only the stalks ( the borers home for the winter)
but the borer gets his goose cooked too. But some use it to let the ( cows) eat from it and trample the rest into the mud. which would decompose. and can be spred on the fields at a later date. Works as good as straw when it comes to a bedding
I've been off and away the farming part a long time. but I remember one time when I was a little short person there was corn stalks , ground up and stored dry in the barn, dad called it fodder, a few years later there was a silo built on that farm. and the corn that wasn't going to produce very well was chopped and stored in the silo wet. The cattle loved that stuff. I was just big enough to drive a tractor, pitch enough of that silage out of the silo into a wagon then pitch it into the feed bunks. I guess that today that would be child abuse. or even child endangerment. Think I was 11 at the time.
Oh well I don't think it hurt me any.
russ: finishing up my supper break at Arbys and enjoyed reading your post; memory lane time for sure.
As a kid/teenager I never worked with silage, but I've cleaned/shoveled out many a chicken house and loaded the manure and old shavings in an old-fashioned manure spreader that threw the manure out the back as you drove it around the fields; blew manure dust out my nose for a week it seemed!
Then there's the tobacco fields with some farmers using mules and drags and others using tractors. Always hated priming that 1st row early in the morning with all the dew still on the leaves.
Getting up hay was hot, dusty work. You could always tell a rookie was helping out when they showed up with shorts and short sleeves!! That was a self-correcting problem for sure! One farmer had a contraption that would grab the hay bales in the field and throw the bale up into the truck to the person stacking. Didn't need a body in the field. I thought that invention was awesome!
As a kid I've ridden on every part of a tractor you could stand, sit, or hold on to.
Been dog bit, horse bit, tick bit, spider bit, and bit by some things I couldn't even name.
Swam in creeks and ponds with and without clothes. Swinging off vines and ropes like Tarzan and acting like Cheeta!
Caught lightning bugs in a mayonnaise jar and licked the nectar off honeysuckle.
Yep, you're right, some of those things are probably called abuse in today's world, but back then we called it LIFE!
Thank you, God, for bringing me up in the country!
Russ, now see what you did, made me ramble on like a dang fool! :-)
Gotta go serve some papers. (Hit it, fellas!)
"bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do when I come for you?"
It don't hurt to ramble once in a while. A lot of times it brings a smile to sombody, who may not other wise had any thing to smile about. I for one like to smile.
Gee I didn't even tell about the time my brother decided we should catch and skin a skunk. Did you know your mother won't let you in the house, when you have been sprayed.???????
Yup found that out. Had to take a bath outside. and rinse in vinigar water.
Never done that again!!!
rand, and did you know even tiny baby skunks can spray, one did that to me, used a lot of tomato juice to wash. HaHa.
When I was a youngster, and the oldest of three, my dad had 17 acres of alfalfa hay and I was his right hand man!!!!!!!! After the hay was cut and dried we hauled it in to the barn. It was my job to sit on the front of the wood slip and drive the team, while Dad tossed the loose hay on the slip. It was a hot, dusty, itchy job. Now looking back all those years it must have been dangerous too, but never thought of that. Like Kent said it was LIFE.
Today going to town I noticed a fluffy black and white ball about 2-3 inches across blowing down the road. I rolled the window down for a better view... Phew! It was a fluff of skunk fur. Window went back up FAST!
Yup life was sure different then. I think one of my very first jobs was to lead the horse on the hay fork rope. back and forth. to lift the loose hay up into the barn.
Whoops were getting off track here. ha ha
I almost felt foolish yesterday, standing out in 35 degree weather watering my bales. wondering if this was going to be worth the trouble. all the while saying to myself no hoe no till. Even thought about ( global warming) gee that would be nice wouldn't it. LOL
Got another one to add to your no hoeing, no tilling, no weeding -- no dogs digging. I had to put deer netting up over my raised beds to keep them out. They haven't given the bales a second look. Ha, ha. = - )
Yup that sounds good. I don't remember rabbits bothering tomatoes. but that would put them up out of reach for them as well. Even though I"M right next to a field I only remember one deer walking through my yard and out the drive way. Aparrently they have all they want out in the field. Was wondering, did you use blood meal on your bales????
No, I used ammonium nitrate. Considering the problems some folks have had buying it, I anticipated problems, too. The fellow at the local Farmers Co-op never even blinked when I asked for it. Go figure.
My bales are ready and I have the plants. If it wasn't for this cold spell the last couple of nights and the next 3 nights, I would have had them all planted on Wednesday. We get temps about 5-10 degrees lower than forcasted. I guess it's because we're about 15 miles out of town and up on a hill. But the good side of that is it works the same way in the summer, too. Sure is nice then.
Karen: speaking of deer, I've got my Liquid Fence ready to go as soon as I get my plants in. I'd come home on night shift and find 4 or 5 deer in my yard. They did take a few nips from my plants in the bales but the spray put a stop to that.
I've been watching my potato plants to see if any deer had tried those. They are coming up nicely in the old straw from last year.
Russ: had plenty of rabbits in the yard, too, but never saw one up on the bales. Growing up my daddy would plant so many tomatoes that ran all over the ground. I would always find a tomato or two that had some good chunks eaten out by a terrapin.
Speaking of getting chilled, I was out watering my bales the other day with just shorts and a t-shirt at the beginning of this little cold snap of ours we now have. Started getting a little cool and then I started daydreaming about my Navy tour of duty in Hawaii and felt a little better.
Which reminds me, ya'll just gotta put this site in your favorite places:
I'm not sure of fond memories; maybe a little envy. Spent a whole weekend there in 64 but it seemed that every other time our ship pulled in, I wound up being on duty. Had to settle for some sun on the flight deck.
Terrapins(sp?)are a garden pest around here, too. When I was in middle school our bus driver would deliberately run over every turtle in the road. When I protested he explained about them eating stuff in his garden. Still was upsetting, I've always remembered it.
Kent, glad to hear your potatoes are doing well. I'll sure want to try that next year if yours works out :~) Thanks so much for all the time you spend on this thread and educating people in general about this way of gardening. Apparently it's spreading far and wide and helping many people garden when they wouldn't be able to in the "normal" way.
Lana, where do you find time to look at the garden forum, much less do any gardening when you and Tammie are doing the coop? So, tell me how you are going to get the Watersorb to the plants in the strawbales? It is all I can do to find room for the roots of the tomatoes. How many crystals do you put in each plant? And do you end up putting the plant roots directly in the crystals?
Jnette, I confess, Tammie is doing all the work I'm just helping with a little of the organization :~) I have spent more time recently with dog rescue. I'm a home visit coordinator for an Anatolian Shepherd Dog Rescue www.nasrn.com. It's been very busy the past couple weeks. I have no idea how I'm going to get the crystals into the straw/hay. But I'm determined to do it to help conserve water. We have a cistern and haul all our water so water conservation is important to us. I want dh to set up a water catch system from our roof for garden watering especially since the garden will be on the far side of the pond, walkway, flowers, and septic tank/leach bed. I don't want to have to haul the hose all that way twice daily to water. If we set up a catch system on that side of the house it will help immensely. Gardening this way is suppose to make things easier on me and my back/neck problems not harder :~) If you put crystals in with the seeds or seedlings if you pot up to a larger size the roots will grow right into the crystals and you'd plant them that way. If I have to put the crystals in the bale with the plant I'll put the crystals in dry so they'll go in there easier and then water like crazy until they expand. I hope to put in a half to one tsp with each plant.
You know, if I saw someone intentionally hit an animal, even a turtle or terrapin, possum, whatever, I'd charge them with cruelty to animals, and any traffic charge I could come up with! No excuse for what your bus driver did. A terrapin's not going to do that much damage.
I've stopped my patrol car in the middle of the road (when it was prudent and safe) with all my lights flashing and stopped traffic to help a terrapin across the road. Most folks gave me a "thumbs up".
russ: I had a year and a half at Pearl. Loved every minute of it. Only been back once since '82. I watch Magnum PI all the time to remind me of what it was like when I was there. Never got a chance to meet Tom Selleck, though.
Hey Kent...I've been "lurking" here...and I just have to tell you this story.
When I lived in Va. Beach...had a lot of friends in the Navy...one couple was transfered to Hawaii...he liked to run early in the morning...he met this big tall guy and they started running together every morning...then he found out the name Tom...preceeded Selleck. It was a while before he found out though. Jo
Oh, yummm, Tom Selleck! Jo, bet your friend was surprised when he found out ;~)
You have to remember, Kent, that was a long time ago and thoughts have changed since then. Yes, I think now a bus driver would get in trouble for doing that. I've stopped with emergency lights flashing and gotten momma duck and ducklings across the road. Also, have herded cattle out of the road :~)
Lana: I know I've gotten off gardening, but we/Sheriff's office still get quite a few calls about cows in the roadway. Got a call a few weeks ago about a pot-bellied pig causing traffic problems. BTW, they don't teach "cow/pig herding" in Basic Law Enforcement School. :-)
Jo: good story! Everyone says Selleck is a pretty good guy. And HI was a runner's paradise! I'd never did much until I was stationed there.
LOL, the uninitiated chasing cows/pigs makes for fun watching!!! Been there done that :~D
There's a local house right beside a VERY busy intersection that raises all kinds of fowl. I've seen the intersection at a stand still with everyone waiting for the Pea hen and chicks to get out of the road :~) Even the semis stop for that! We're not so far off gardening topic. They provide our best gardening tool...manure!
10 - 4 on the tools, of gardening. A youngster 2 doors down raises chickens, shows them at the fair. They put the manure in a garbage can and I get to collect it.
I may even decide to raise some of my own next year. and let them have all the area around the garden. May be they will curb most of the pesky bugs. Of course after the plants get a head start, I may even allow them in the garden. I am not sure if they will eat squash beatles or that grey Japanese beatle or especialy that darn pest Asian lady beatle, that our beloved dept of agg. imported to help curb soy bean aphids. All three would leave a very bitter taste for the poor chicks.
The regular lady bugs done the same job, don't know why they couldn't leave well enough alone.
I know this didn't have much to do with bale gardens except that the plants for the most part would be up out of the normal reach of chickens. I know they jump up and they can fly too . Oh heck lets just garden Russ
I am having a hard time keeping my dog, Blue, from jumping up on the bales and eating the blood meal. I covered, I thought, the blood meal with compost. I guess she smells it and dis through the compost to get at the blood meal.
I have been pretty much letting my 3 large banty type chickens loose in the garden, but they must have eaten all the easily available bugs and are now doing too much digging so I am keeping the chicken yard gate closed for most of the day.
If you are interested in wild birds see my post under Wildlife for an unusual experience I had yesterday.
Jeanette: this is what's commonly referred to as a terrapin in my area. This color scheme is common. Basically reminds me of a miniature tortise. They can be around wet or dry areas, and they can turn up most anywhere in your yard. Very slow moving, so trying to cross a highway during the day is tantamount to suicide for most of them.
If you see tomatoes that aren't staked with chunks bitten out of them, then this guy is usually a prime suspect.
Edited to add this: Happy Easter, everyone!
After church I deep-fried a 13.6 pound turkey, and as my late Uncle O.H. used to say, "I did him proud!"
Thanks for the pic, Kent. I had a couple pics of one drinking from my pond last summer but the pics are stuck on my old harddrive that went capoot. Need to get that fixed and save the thousand or so pics on it :~(
Well the temp finally was on the rise. I went out when it got up to 36, gee it got up to 40. Anyway I watered in some more blood-meal, in the bales.
If I remember right the box turtles are mostly sandy brown. I haven't looked them up though. We have some painted turtles here but rather scarce, We have two main kind of snaping turtles one is the lether back, the other is the one many people call the aligator snaping turtle. It has the hard shell that has the jaged edge. then there are some just plain turtles that are usually sunning themselves on a log or something. but that is about it for around here. They don't get very far away from a pond or river.
Never had any problem in the garden with them. I'm about 3/4 of a mile from a small river. and we have a lot of small ponds in a water shed area.
For as cold as it has been I'm wondering if I should have covered the bales after watering. I don't feel any heat radiating out of them. Hope they are decomposing some.
I looked up turtles after I sent the last message. That is what that web site said too. also the leather back snapers we have are concidered Eastern soft shell snaping turtle. I have caught them on hook and line when using chicken liver for bait.
I really enjoyed all of the information on the turtles you guys. We have turtles around here also, and have waited and waited, and waited for them to cross the road. Have moved a few also. They aren't something that we have in our gardens tho even tho I am just across a 2 lane highway from a river.
Well, I bought 90% of my plants today from my local/favorite ag-supply store. I'll prob transplant over the course of next week.
A flat of veggies (mix what you want) was $14.50. Each flat held 12 4-packs. What's the price from some other locations?
My potato sprouts bit the dust due to a couple nights of unseasonably cold weather last week, but they should bounce back.
My bales this year never did get to "cooking" like last year. About 80-85 was max temp, I think. Weather just wouldn't cooperate. Of course, after waiting all winter, I started about 2 weeks ahead of schedule, anyway.
Kent, I went to our new (30 miles away) Home Depot today to look at their plants. I bought a nice Clematis vine in a color I didn't already have was $ 9.98 in a 1 gal. pot, not a bad price. I bought 2 four pacs of annuals, at $1.70, which would come to$20.40 for a flat of 12 4 pacs, more expensive than yours.
It is trying to rain and quite windy so I am in the house rather than in the garden. I truly hope it really rains, not just a little shower..
I had some red potatoes that had sprouted afros. So I looked at my "straw lasagna" bed that was supposed to house herbs this summer & thought, START SOMEWHERE. So the potatoes went in to the left, near the bale compost bin.
The straw was put down in thick slices so I just pulled them back a row at a time & replaced. I disturbed a pretty comprehensive snake or mouse town but no snakes or mice jumped out at me so I planted as quickly as possible & moved on.
And these are the 100 bales that were delivered a month ago for when I feel like really doing something. In the foreground is my lasagna bed that started with a layer of cardboard in the fall, then got some straw and a winter's worth of shredded paper.
One last pic. This is the straw/herb garden as it was laid down in the fall, backed by a scary bed of cosmos & zinnias. Things topped out at around 6 feet. More picturesque then, eh?
The cat is Julie, the Mae West of cats who looks as if she couldn't saunter any faster than a buxom beauty in a corset, but when the mouse-ridden straw was delivered last fall, she stacked those mice up on the deck faster than I've ever seen. Poor little mice.
Is there anybody else in the western NC area? My bales were gradually creeping up in temp anywhere from 70 to the high 90's and then along came record lows over the weekend and beginning of the week and all the bales plummeted to around 60. My problem is I don't know if they cooked enough. The other problem is not knowing what this consarned weather is going to do next. Average last freeze is April 15th, but can I trust to plant my seedlings or should I give it another couple of weeks? I have tomatoes, cukes and melons in seedling form. I also plan to do some direct sew in bales (maters and cukes and melons) and in ground (maters, cukes, lettuce, carrots, and snow peas). First time I've tried gardening on this scale and only my 2nd year in NC. Any advice gratefully accepted. BTW, this area is the apple valley area and we lost about 100% of the apple crop over this last weekend. Really sad. First time in 52 years that this has happened.
You guys are all getting so far ahead of me I feel left behind. Our last frost date is the end of May so will be a while before putting anythng out. Hope to get the straw this next week. Finally found some at $4.50. Have to drive 50 miles each way to get it with a truck that gets 10 miles to the gallon and gas that is over $3 per. So, that is some expensive straw.
Enjoyed your pictures tho. Summerkid how do your neighbors feel about all the straw stacked and lying everywhere? LOL, I was looking all over for the mice and snakes. Guess that pretty cat got them all. She sure looks satisfied with herself.
I'm in upstate SC, and have the same questions:). My tomatoes are taking over the bathroom, and pretty soon they're going to crawl outside and plant themselves in desperation. My question for today is my potato conundrum. I got my seed potatoes yesterday, and cut them up to cure "for a day or two" as directed on the site. Then I read the_fine print_. Sigh. Cut them up and plant them "if you have good moisture control".I don't think that includes a possible 2 inches of rain. While these are not going directly in the bales, they are going in a "bale corral" and will be grown by the "mulch method" ie, basically just dumping them on the ground and covering them with hay. I'm late starting, but the company said that if I keep them well covered and insulated, they should do okay. I guess we'll see. I'd appreciate any input, at this point I'l lprobaly wait til Monday to put them out.
summerkid and BlueGlance, nice kitty pictures. I don't have a kitty, just my Lhaso Apso Bluebird. She helps me in the garden!!!!
If I bought 100 straw bales and had them delivered would cost me more than $600.00 so I( am settling for three for this years experiment. Don't think it is anyway near enough warm enough yet to plant anything in them. Have only planted really cool weather plants outside. Have some things being hardened in but still have to keep them protected at night.
Donna what are you going to put in your 3 bales? I'm going for 10or 12. 6 of them will have tomatoes. That is 2 per bale. I started 30 from seed so guess that leaves some for friends. This year I am following Carolyn's (from the tomato forum) directions to a "T" and so far the tomato plants are looking pretty good. Sure is a temptation to fertilize them tho. However, by doing it her way they aren't growing real fast so they should be just about the right size and stocky when I put them in the bales.
We've had freezing weather the last several nights so it is just a reminder that it is too early for putting anything outside.
I did get a rose from J&P a couple of days ago that my daughter bought for my birthday last month. So, some things are ready for planting. LOL
I'm way out of your area. We usually plant potatoes on good Friday. They come and get niped by frost a couple times early. By the time it warms up it seems they have a good root system. and send out a lot of tubers. and that is without any protection.
I would think that with a corral of bales that should offer a lot of protection in its self. are you going to cover them with any thing but straw?
I set just a few out simular to what you are planning to. Only I put a thick layer of news paper down on the ground, then some straw, then some potting soil over top of the potatoes. They are in between two rows of bales. and since it was going to be down to 30 & 31 for a couple of nights, I put some plastic over top of the two rows of bales. That would be like covering the tomatoes with hot caps to keep them from freezing.
When we lived in central Missouri every body planted potatoes on St. Pattys Day.
So I really think you should be safe by offering them some protection with the bales. Our last frost date is some where around the last of May.And June can have some darn cool nights too. However the ground is usually warm . Hope this offers you some comfort on planting them. Russ
Sandie: you should be OK as soon as you're comfortable with no more frost for the Hendersonville area. Like I said earlier, my bales didn't "cook" like last year, either.
Due to a modified schedule for next week I ended up transplanting all the veggies I had today and it's been 14 days since I first laid my bales out. The straw felt good and soft and slick inside, with some nice white mold here and there.
Some of the bales were still cooking some and were warm to my hand.
With the string side down this year, I was very pleased with the ease I was able to make a crack in my oat straw bales with the assistance of a garden trowel. I added a good hand full of Miracle Gro potting mix (a first for me) to each plant and pressed everything back together and watered everything in well.
I noticed my Daddy's rye bales were very tight and compact and I had a hard time trying to crack his bales, which were also string side down.
The string side down gives me a little bit larger area for my cukes to run on before they drop down over the sides.
I've also noticed that the water doesn't run out nearly as fast with the string sides down and more or less trickles through the bales, which I like better.
Summerkid: I loved your picks, especially the nice looking camping trailers. I went on frappr to see if you had a marker and to see what river you were talking about. Your community looks like a nice place with the river running through it.
Lucy: be sure to get a pic of those pole beans for us.
Margo: never heard about "curing" potatoes b4 planting; as long as they're not sitting in water, the 2 inch rainfall shouldn't hurt. My potatoes seem to be doing well after losing the first tops to frost.
Jeanette: hang in there! Your day is coming, but I know how you feel, because some of the early ones got me going a few weeks early.
Jeanette, I can't believe what your bales are costing you. Do you have a freecycle where you could ask whether anyone has some substandard straw, especially this time of year?
Kent, unfortunately, Kankakee is a very depressed Rust Belt town, and its denizens are small town without being friendly or charming. What they can't shoot, they burn. But an acre of good soil on a riverbank is nothing to sniff at, and at least my honeybees are legal here.
Kent... I had 4 bales last year with strings side down, all you said is true on planting in them. Plus, They held up better, and I am reusing them this year. I just tighten up the strings, and they were ready to go.
I will get some pictures of the beans in a few days. They are just now getting attached to the chainlink fence. Here is a picture when they first started.
Jeanette, For sure I am going to plant beans in one bale, as I hate bending over to pick them. I am also planting beans on/around a bamboo triangle, 6 bamboo 6 ft. tied at the top and spread at the bottom. I plant 5 or 6 beans at each pole. Works pretty good for me, only need enough for one person. Sometimes I can a few pints.
think I will try pepper in one bale, and maybe a tomato or two in another. Still getting down almost to freezing at night, so I guess no hurry.
No, I've never heard of a freecycle around here Kid. Everyone in this area grows hay which doesn't leave much stubble. Your area sounds pretty good Summerkid, that nobody bothers each other. Not too many places around like that any more.
BlueGlancer I laid my bales with strings down last year and they just cannot be reused this year. I doubt that I could tighten the strings. The main thing I will say about doing it that way is that I didn't have much seed sprouting from it. A little big on a couple of bales from oats but that is all. Your beans look great.
Kent, I'll bet what Margo's "curing" the potatoes means is that I have heard of leaving them to scab over. Some dusted them with something to keep them from rotting also.
Donna, sounds like you will have all of the best vegetables in your garden. When you have those, what else do you need? The beans sound wonderful. I am going to try some Blue Lake pole beans this year. I have had the BL bush beans and they were so good.
Summerkid, when you figure that out, how to get peaches out of apples and oranges you only tell me and we will together have a gold mine. LOL
Night you all from the West Coast (still to hear from you Donna)
When you have time, I was just browsing and found the most beautiful house I could tell was a work of true love, go to a forum called "Parking Lot" by Summerkid and look at the work involved in this house. It is absolutely gorgeous. Everything about it is truly beautiful. A real work of art.
Now, I guess we wait to see how the "house of straw" is going to turn out. I hope we get to see it produced on our forum.
I was tired and went to bed early. My order from High Country came Fri. and i was trying to get as many planted as I could. Only ordered 8 plants but takes me a lot longer than it used to to do anything especially anything the includes shovel work. I put compost, manure, alfalfa pellets, Planters 2, a little 9-3-4 all in one of my wheelbarrows. Then mix it up, and put my plant carrier, some water, some Yum Yum in a container and off I go to where I want to plant something. After I dig my hole everything is in my wheelbarrow ready for planting.
Donna: I just watched Roy Underhill from The Woodwright's Shop on PBS build a great looking English Garden wheelbarrow. It was a great design. Would love to have something like that. Of course, I'd have to use some power tools instead of all that armstrong power Roy uses.
Got some mushrooms coming up in a few bales if the wind doesn't blow them off! Man, is it blowing today!
The power went off temporarily a little bit ago after hearing 2 huge booms, like you hear when transformers explode. I rode through the neighborhood but couldn't spot anything on fire, and the substation looked OK.
Gotta go to Bunn Elem. School today and give a short presentation on bale gardening to about 50 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. Wonder what questions they'll ask? I'll let you know.
Well, the Bunn Elem. School 3 - 5th grade science class were a joy to meet. It was alot of fun talking to about 50 young people. The girls out numbered the boys by about 4 to 1! Just about all of them had a garden at home and loved working with plants. They were all well behaved and attentive, and asked some good questions, my favorite being "Can you grow apple trees in bales?"
Kids are fun. The schools here have raised beds for the kids. Not sure what grades and the Master Gardners work with them. They're starting them early. But then so did my mother. With 5 girls she got us all gardening young.
Yes I look to my mother for my gardening as well as cooking. I wanted to help, I was probably more of a hinderence, but mom was patient. If I pulled a veggie instead of a weed, she told me and I would immediatly replant it. She would jokingly say that I could plant a broomstick and make it grow. And being the youngest at that time she would even take the time to allow me to bake a cake or cookies. I think I would make more of a mess, but every thing always turned out great. Much of her patience rubbed off I guess as I see it in myself as well.
Except when it is cold and snow is still on the ground and it is suposed to be spring lol
Well, it's begun. Today I planted my potatoes and direct seeded an assortment of stuff. It was a perfect day, overcast with a breeze, so I could sit out there for as long as it took to get it done, but I had expected rain, so was happy to stay dry. I planted each seed with a bit of compost mixed into the bales, and I'll hope for the best. It doesn't look like I did much, but I sure feel like it! Next comes the transplants, once they harden of a little longer.
I'm kind of thinking we may have our last frost. It did dip down to 39 last night. That still scares me, but I'm thinking that long cold spell. should have finished the cold weather. It's been in the 80s the last few days. But I too am getting anxious. I have my bales so I could put plastic over the whole thing. so I think I will try a few maters an hope for the best. Started mine from seed so no great loss if I loose a couple.I just put the 10-10-10 on today though. So I may want to water them a couple times first.
In the dirt now, I put in about 300 onion sets yesterday and a row of peas. A lot of time today with DWs eye exam and get a few things while in town, so I used a little time to put the poles and the cattle panels up to tie up the vines .
I really wanted to try useing a cattle panel on the sweet potatoes. I don't know if it will work or not, so I may try a few that way, and the rest let run all over. Has any body tried this before??? I think it should work as the SPVs are usually on a trellis and they make potatoes. Oh well I can be a guinney pig.
Kent, The Woodwright's Shop is one if dh's favs! I've cut my own switch many times at my dads parents. Don't know if those stingy switches or daddy's belt was worse. Ooh, that fly swat was pretty painful too! I believe in most cases time out and taking away privelages works. Of course most parents didn't know about this when I was little.
A sweet man on DG is sending me a bunch of different heirloom tomato seedlings. I need to find some red and green bell pepper seedlings, yellow squash, zhuchinni(sp?), onions, green beans... :~)
Russ, I want to see pictures of whatever you do with the sweet potatoes. I don't think we grow them up here. Have never heard of them here anyway. Not that we don't eat them. Do they grow underground like regular spuds? What do you mean by running all over the place? Are they a crawler like squash or cucumbers?
Well I know it is still too cold here to put tender annual things outside. The frost fans are running again this morning, it has been just at 31 or below every morning so far this week. Gets up near 60 for daytime temp. which of course sounds pretty chilly to you 80 degree people. But I love the April greens, all the different shades in the trees and shrubs.
Jnette. Yes sweetpotatoes are a vine.There vines will run 15-20'. I try to control where they run, but it still takes a lot of space. The potatoes grow under ground just as regular potatoes. The thing I was wondering was that they also have the tendancy to send down roots along the vine at various places and sometimes do make another hill of S/Ps. My other concern was that they like humidity. Which they would have next to the ground. but running up a trellis, the vine would loose some of that high humidity.
You would be able to raise S/Ps in 5a, altho the further north you go the shorter your growing season gets. I am sure you would do fine with them.
I haven't set any out yet as we could still have a killer frost. But I am anxious to get all the plants out of the kitchen DW would like that too.
I will try to take pictures at different intervals with them, and how they do both ways. let run and using a trellis.
Right now we have a bunch of plastic drink cups with S/P plants growing out of them. I've got around 40 rooted already. but I am taking some to the IARU, in Cedar Rapids . I plan to put out around a dozen for us. I figure that should give us a couple bushels of tubers. with some to spare for the neighbors.
Foggy, Dad always told of spring of 1936. he had been planting corn. He had un hitched the teem from the planter and left the planter in the field and that night they had a snow storm, and a snow drift covered the planter. That was May 10th.
I didn't happen till the next spring, so that was Dad's story but I think I can stick with it.
Ofcourse now if we leave Mr. Gore alone he has us in a global warming pattern.
Why- - -we might even be able to set tomatoes out in December. (Right Al )?????
foggy: depending on the type of bale, temp, moisture, other variables, the bales heat up at different rates; like I mentioned earlier, my bales last year went to 125; this year, my oat bales barely got past 85; it's been very cool here; ordinarily I just now be getting my bales started this weekend when the temp is supposed to hit high 70's
Russ: you cracked me up with the Al Gore remark. I still am beholding to him for inventing the internet. :-)
Donna: I agree with you; I like the shades of green from the Spring growth.
I'm in Washington state. Northeast corner. I will change my profile as soon as they tell me how. Can't remember. Yes, we have a real short growing season. Most people when you say Washington state, think of Seattle and that is a zone 8. But, we are inland and farther north. There is a mountain range between us and the coast.
Actually, I have never seen sweet potatoes growing othr than in a glass in my kitchen window. That probably sounds funny to you Russ and the rest of you. That is what we used to do when we were kids. I know when you order them you would get plants.
What's the deal with people stealing your bloodmeal??
Russ and Kent, don't you guys knock Al. He gave me an early out.
LOL, Jeannette my eyesight is poor & I don't leave the farm anymore so my son does all the purchasing...his idea of where things are stored somehow always differs from mine
...they don't call me Foggy for nothing! so when i can't find something, i always claim he hid it from me...no theft involved!
yeh!! don't knock Al you guys!
Russ, this blizzard was in 1949 or 50 & it didn't just cover things, it was 10 feet deep in the ditches...10 neighbors got stuck at our house
Boy I sure don't want a blizzard here this time of year. It is still frosting every night/early morning. The orchard frost fans just now shut down at 8:00am. The water is frozen in my lawn hoses. But least the wind isn't blowing yet. The flowering trees are very pretty and I know spring is springing.
Kent, I posted a freecycle ad here to look for spoiled hay bales. No offers but a lovely email from someone who also wants some. She turns out to be someone on your mailing list and since you and I both recommend DG, she's looking into subscribing. Good work guy!
jnette We have a grandaughter and GSL. They live at Goldbar ( about 40 miles up from Seattle) but that sounds like you are on the other side of the mountains. GD came back here to show off our newest GGS. We dream of making the trip out to see them. but then they raise the price of gas so you have to get a loan for one fill.
We may just have to grit our teeth and do it though.
Being in the North Eastern part I do understand. You are listed as 5a because of the last frost date. but that says nothing as to when the first frost date is. Right??
Oh also your location does come up now.
Foggy Yes I remember the winter that year. We wern't near Sioux City then.
We were South of Jefferson IA. We has a snow drift that started from the middle of the garden (we had an out house then) past the front of the out house and right up over the fence into the barn yard right on up to the top of a light pole in the middle of the barnyard. Some where in the family we had a picture of me sitting on top of that pole with my feet on the drift. My younger brother and I made a lot of tunnels in that drift. We had a lane that we shared with a neighbor He was 1/4 mi from the road we were 1/2 mile from the road. That was one reason I remember as my next older brother and I had to shovel that intire 1/2 mile by hand so that our neighbor would not get stuck. It wasn't 100% covered but it did have some drifts that were over our heads. Dad was one to make sure us boys didn't have idle time. You see Dad had the use of the boss's jeep to get over to the main farm place to help with the chores there in addition to what was at this farm. well the jeep was light and he could drive over most of the drifts. The neighbor tried to do the same with his Oldsmobile. heh heh I needn't go into the difference of weight.
My brother laughed about that , and that is why we had to shovel it by hand.
January 10, 1949 - snowstorm in Los Angeles, 1" on the beaches and on the City Hall lawn (sea level) in downtown L.A. I was living in the foothills above L.A. at about an elevation of 700-800 feet, we had six inches of snow that stayed on the ground for four or five days. I was in the first grade, and we built a snowman in the front yard.
1949 must have been a bad winter/spring all around.
yup and I guess - - -you gessed it - - - Global warming must have kicked in right after that. I think as I was checking some weather stats I found that, in 1865 I think. They had Ice forming in the Gulf of Mexico and the news media hype was;that an ice age is coming.
I just went to that file and it said a mini ice age started in 1850 and ended in 1950.
I don't know if I can transfer that file from my documents to This forum or not. but would try if any body was interested.
I would be interested. I'm not sure I believe in the "global warming catastrophe" idea. I suspect that the scientists who say we have always had periods of warming and periods of increasing cold and that this is just part of the pattern are correct. Same thing with the "holes in the ozone". If we couldn't see those holes before satellites were invented, how do we know that there haven't been periods where there were holes in the ozone and then periods when the holes closed up and now the holes are coming back?
I just saw today that the National Arbor Foundation has moved my hardiness zone to 8b, from 7b. Frankly, that tallies pretty much with what I am seeing, and I've looked the stats up back to 1968. USDA hardiness zones are based on 1974-1986.
Karen; this is just one of about 64000 articals on global warming vs just cyclic weather paterns. I was just googling and typed in global warming. I am sure that if you were to type in some thing like cyclic weather paterns some may come up I had also searched national weather statistics and got a bunch . I will have to go back to the beginning and try find a link that is a good one. I was doing that while waiting for the cold weather to go away. It's kind of fun to see what you can find on subjects of interest. If I find one or two I will just send the link
February 26, 2007
An Ice Age versus Global Warming
By Alan Caruba | View comments
History and science suggest that we are, in fact, on the brink of the next major, cyclical Ice Age and it is far more likely that the northern hemisphere will begin to cool.
The latest summary of yet another revised edition of a report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Control has evoked all the usual fears predicting the deaths of millions by 2080, and other end of the world scenarios.
2080 is a mere 73 years from now. In meteorological terms, it is a blink of the eye. Real climatologists measure time far differently than the rest of us. While the IPCC, Al Gore, and the other fear mongers are warning of the horrors of Global Warming, it is useful to look at the time scales. The end of the last Ice Age was 11,500 ago.
It is also useful to keep in mind that the known cycle of time between Ice Ages is about 11,500 years. If you believe the fear mongers, in less than the lifetime of the average American, coastal cities will be under water. If the Ice Age cycle holds true, however, at some point it is far more likely that they will be under a thick sheet of ice.
Since we are at the end of an inter-glacial period, we are far closer to the next Ice Age than the last. Everything we call “civilization” has occurred since the last Ice Age. The rise of various empires began about five thousand years ago with Egypt initially being the most prominent.
Let me stipulate that none of the facts to be cited — taken from the open source of Wikipedia — will make any difference to those who are wedded to the global warmer’s end of the world scenario, though dying from too much ice is surely as unpleasant as dying from an over-heated planet.
The notion that humans can prevent either is so absurd as to defy belief, but it clearly doesn’t defy belief because millions have been convinced it can be done.
For now, it comes down to the amount of time in which Global Warming is predicted to end life on planet Earth. For the Global Warmers, the real agenda is not about somehow pumping all the carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Even they know it’s impossible. It is also an idiotic goal given the fact that all vegetation is totally dependent on CO2 for its existence. Take away vegetation, forests, jungles, and all crops, and you also remove all human and other species. For true believers, the real pollution of the Earth is the human race.
The real agenda of Global Warming is political and economic. The IPCC’s predictions are intended to stampede the legislation of vast restrictions on all use of energy. It is energy and “labor saving devices” that have transformed what we regard as the modern world. Take away electricity and we are all instantly transported back to the days when the Declaration of Independence was written by candlelight.
An Ice Age, says Wikipedia, “is a period of long-term reduction in the temperature of Earth’s climate, resulting in an expansion of the continental ice sheets, polar ice sheets and mountain glaciers.”
Bear in mind that real science is of little interest to Global Warming advocates. History, too, is a great nuisance because it inconveniently suggests they are lying through their teeth.
For example, there was a Little Ice Age that Wikipedia says occurred “approximately the 16th to the mid-19th centuries, while others suggest a span from the 13th to the 17th centuries. It is generally agreed that there were three minima, beginning about 1650, about 1770, and 1850, each separated by slight warming intervals.”
Prior to the Little Ice Age of some three centuries length there was the Medieval warm period, sometimes called the Climate Optimum because it was a period when more crops produced more food, populations expanded, life spans were extended, and, life for those in the northern hemisphere improved.
Remember the stories of Valley Forge where George Washington’s rag-tag Revolutionary Army near froze to death in the winter of 1777-1778? Think mini-ice age. The one that began again around 1850 didn’t end until around 1950, a century later.
Now apply a bit of common sense. If the last mini-ice age ended in 1950, does it not follow that the Earth has warmed since then? Yes, it has. Climate scientists agree it has warmed about one degree Fahrenheit. Is this cause for panic? No. Should we cease using oil, natural gas and coal? No.
The Global Warmers tell you that it will get worse barely seven decades from now, but history and science suggest that we are, in fact, on the brink of the next major, cyclical Ice Age and it is far more likely that the northern hemisphere will begin to cool. The really bad news is that this will occur quite rapidly once it begins.
For those with the wits to examine the history and science of climate, it is obvious that the Global Warmers are seeking to deceive whole nations and continents into the destruction of a thriving period of world trade and relative peace we call globalization.
Short range, this is occurring today in the Congress of the United States. It must not be allowed to happen and those behind it should be driven from public office at the earliest possible moment.
Quoting: Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To know that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
Weather Underground - Go to any date in 1970. Once there, then click the drop-down for the year -- now scroll down that drop-down and it will take you back as far as 1948. Sorry, I should have explained that better. You can choose to search by a particular day, by a week, by a month, or use the "custom" search to choose a whole year at a time by setting the search to: 1-1-(year) to 12-31-(same year).
Thanks for the article. I agree with him. All the preparation to head off global warming is keeping us from preparing for the real problem when it will be necessay to use all the energy we can muster as efficiently as possible.
I love the internet. I hear people say, "Oh, I don't like the internet." Well, I use it as a well-stocked library at my fingertips. When I was little and asked questions Mom would always say, "Go look it up" - meaning the household encyclopedia. Later, it was the library that I went to for answers. But now, it's all right there with just a few keystrokes!